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Wide-legged Standing Forward Bend
With Dr Kiki Morriss
This pose, Wide-legged Standing Forward Bend, or Prasarita Padottanasana, helps to increase flexibility in the back and legs
Wide-legged Standing Forward Bend is a resting pose that increases the flexibility of your legs and back.
The benefits of this pose:
- Stretches and increases the flexibility of the hamstrings at the back of your legs and the adductor muscles of your inner thighs.
- stretches your outer ankles.
- Stretches your gluteus maximus and erector spinae muscles.
- Lengthens and releases your spine.
- Relaxes and calms your mind.
- Can relieve insomnia.
Cautions and modifications:
- You can try bending your knees if you have lower back or hamstring issues, but practice with caution and consult a professional if necessary.
- Bring your feet closer together if you have a groin strain.
- Use blocks under your hands if you are unable to reach the ground.
- If you have blood pressure issues, consult your doctor before practicing deep forward bends.
- Reach your arms wide and hold onto your ankles. If possible, wrap your middle and index fingers around your big toes.
- Interlink your fingers behind your back and lift your arms up and over your head.
- Place your hands on your hips and draw your elbows towards each other.
- Bring your hands into Reverse Prayer Pose behind your back.
- If your head comfortably reaches the floor, come into a Tripod Headstand.
MOVING INTO THE POSE
- Start in Mountain Pose (Tadasana).
- Step your feet wide apart.
- Align your feet directly below your wrists
- Turn your toes slightly inwards.
- Inhale and place your hands on your hips.
- Exhale and bend down
- Place your hands on the floor between your legs, in line with your feet.
- Lower the crown of your head towards the ground.
FOCUS YOUR GAZE
- Your dristi (focal point) is at the tip of your nose or at a fixed point straight ahead of you. Keep your gaze soft.
CREATE A STRONG FOUNDATION
- Press your feet into the ground to create a firm foundation.
- Maintain the stability of the pose by not stepping your feet too wide apart.
- Lift the inner arches of your feet by pressing firmly on the outside edges of your feet.
POSITION YOUR ARMS AND HANDS
- Place your hands in line with your feet.
- Point your elbows back between your legs.
- Place your forearms at a right angle with the ground.
- Place your upper arms parallel to the ground.
FOCUS ON YOUR NECK & SHOULDERS
- Relax and lengthen your neck.
- Draw your shoulder blades down your back by contracting the trapezius muscles of your upper back.
- Lift your shoulders away from your ears and try not to allow them to drop down towards your head.
FOCUS ON YOUR LEGS
- Stretch and lengthen the hamstring, soleus and gastrocnemius muscles at the back of your legs.
- Use the quadriceps muscles at the front of your thighs to straighten your knees and lift your kneecaps.
BREATHING IN THE POSE
- Stay in the pose for 5-10 steady breaths.
COMING OUT OF THE POSE
- Inhale and stand up slowly.
- Place your hands on your hips.
- Return to Mountain Pose (Tadasana).